3 Easy Steps as a Leader to Challenge the Status Quo

As a leader, give yourself permission to question the status quo of your organization and invite your team to join in. Organizations develop a status quo for many reasons. Those reasons range from leaders feeling pressured for time and the need to prioritize, all the way to a culture that has a “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it” mentality. What we mean by status quo is the current state of affairs. It’s how things are, and depending on the topic at hand, perhaps it’s how they’ve always been. Status quo is also a bias. It’s a preference that things stay the same. In a sense, it’s an aversion to change. Adhering to this bias is problematic, especially in business, because growth requires change. Companies and their cultures are living and breathing entities that change with the people who inhabit them. Policies that worked for one generation might fall on...
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Conversations Across Cultures: Best Practices for Rolling Out Fierce in a Global Market

When it comes to rolling out Fierce programs across a global market versus a domestic one, they're not all that different. As our VP of Global and Channel Partners Jaime Navarro mentioned in her recent blog post on training across the globe , very few if any changes are made to the program content. What's generally left to consider are the internal...
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How to Be Accountable for Your Emotional Wake as a Leader

What's the impact of a Fierce conversation before it's even happened? How often do you have a conversation with yourself before a team meeting, an interview, or prior to delivering feedback or confronting a problem? Consider it an essential part of your prep time, integrated into the normal routine of preparing for a meeting. And depending on the s...
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Why Emotions Belong in the Workplace

Emotion . It's a critical business component that's often overlooked or avoided altogether, yet it's actually the driving force behind all other aspects of business including productivity, revenue, and innovation.  And it's time for leaders to embrace it. I was recently discussing a project with Tom, our EVP of Learning. Af...
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Leaders, You Need Confrontation to Grow Your Business

You know that feeling when you know something needs to change, and yet you don't really want to have the conversation required to change it? You have valid reasons. Maybe it hasn't gone well in the past, maybe your schedule is slammed, or maybe you want this person to like you and fear they won't after the conversation. These are all real-life scen...
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4 Barriers to Personal and Professional Growth (And How to Tear ‘em Down)

Throughout our lives, we experience moments of momentum where we feel like we're expanding, moving upward, and spreading our fierce little wings. Other times, we feel like our own growth has become sluggish or blocked in some way. When this stagnation occurs, it's an indication that it's time to get curious and shake things up. As a leader, you are not exempt from the reality that growth requires conscious effort. You spend a lot of time focusing on the growth of those around you, and while this is a critical focus for anyone in a position of leadership, it's important to maintain an awareness of your own development and make adjustments as needed. When your own development becomes stagnant, it can be quite comfortable in the beginning. It feels safe and secure, at least at first. The natural progression of an individual involves continual growth. Once basic needs are met,...
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4 ESSENTIAL STEPS FOR LEADERS WHEN ADDRESSING A TEAM PERFORMANCE ISSUE

As a leader, you’ve ideally built a relationship with each of your team members. You’ve likely swapped stories about your families, collaborated on successful work projects, and built the emotional capital necessary to have a successful team. However, being a leader means that sometimes you are confronted with the challenge of how to best handle delicate situations, such as addressing a performance issue among your team. Even great teams, for one reason or another, don’t perform to the expected standard. You may try to avoid the situation and hope it goes away on its own. The reality, though, is that the problem does exist, and the longer it goes on without being talked about, the worse it will get. On a company level, the performance of each individual team impacts the organization’s overall production and revenue goals. As a leader, you are accountable for your team’s performance, and it’s critical...
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7 Tips for Dealing with Unwanted Change in the Workplace

I previously worked for an organization that was expanding rapidly. As a result of this expansion, many large-scale changes were taking place, including team restructuring, leadership layoffs, and new initiatives. Many of us had no idea a change was coming until it was already being implemented, so we didn't always understand why the changes were b...
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Land at the Right Airport: Why You Need Frequent Feedback to Reach Your Goals

When you think of the word "feedback," what comes to mind? Does it include annual reviews, or tense meetings with your manager when they want to "discuss something," and you're not sure if it's going to further your development? Or maybe a mistake has been made and it seems too late to go back and fix the issue. I like to think of feedback lik...
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Why it Pays to Support Employees’ Personal Development

"Supporting another's success won't ever dampen yours." –Unknown A few months ago, I was able to use my personal development funds (allocated company funds provided to all Fierce employees) to participate in a meditation course that I've wanted to take for a number of years now. While having access to these funds is, needless to say, awesome, it is...
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Conversations Across Cultures: 4 Key Insights from Successful Global Leadership Programs

When working with global clients, we often come across unique scenarios that illustrate how Fierce training is being integrated into organizations' larger leadership development strategies, and how rollout is being implemented on an international scale. One of our clients, an established global manufacturing company in the automotive industry with ...
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Holding purpose accountable: How to Close the gap between purpose and action

A lack of purpose or connection to purpose is arguably one of the most significant problems affecting businesses today. When employees feel connected to a company's mission and values, they are more engaged. According to insights released by Deloitte in 2015, employees today are focused on purpose, mission, and work-life integration. And when emplo...
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3 tips for creating transparency and engagement in your social media marketing strategy

I get to talk with people every day. Not just colleagues, friends, and family, but also individuals who have read Fierce Founder and CEO Susan Scott's bestselling book "Fierce Conversations" or who have implemented our content in their company's leadership and development training. You'll find me more often than not having these conversations behin...
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Different Perspectives Lead to the Best Ideas. Here's Why.

You've probably heard it before… Seek input, be inclusive, welcome perspectives, collaborate with others. But why? Where does the premise come from that this type of inclusion is beneficial for individuals, teams, or organizations? In a recent Lunch & Learn hosted by Director of Client Development Justin Perun, he discussed the effectiveness of...
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Growth vs. Fixed Mindset: How Your Beliefs Impact You, Your Team, and Your Organization

My interest in growth and learning led me to the book " Mindset " by Carol Dweck. It has opened my eyes to the ways in which we as humans tend to limit our own potential, both individually and in our organizations. The concept of a fixed versus growth mindset is simple, yet the implications are massive. According to Dweck, how you approach learning...
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Delegation Isn't Just for Managers, It's Integral to Individual Contributors’ Development

At the heart of personal and professional development are two key factors: empowerment and delegation. You could consider these two factors to be on-par, because to delegate is to empower your individual contributors to take on new responsibilities. On first thought, the concept of delegation may not strike you as a skill that employees in non-mana...
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How to Get Your People to See Themselves as Industry Experts (and Defeat Impostor Syndrome)

You are an expert. How does that feel when you read it? Do you believe it? Throughout my career, I've witnessed how difficult it can be for people, including myself, to refer to oneself as an "expert." An expert? Who, me? You must be talking to the person behind me…there must be someone who can do this better, or who knows more about this than me… ...
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The Conversation around Segmentors and Integrators: 5 Steps to Addressing Conflicts in Work-life Balances

As we rely more and more on digital means of communication—like email, instant messaging, and facetime—the concept of a "work-life balance" becomes a bit more blurred. With the addition of digital devices like smartphones in our lives, it gets harder to leave work at work and not let it enter our personal life. While a predictable nine-to-five work...
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Conversations Across Cultures: A Brief Intro to Training Across the Globe

At Fierce, we're often asked about how our programs translate across countries and cultures. At times, there's a false assumption that content can't translate across global markets without major customization. This is a misnomer. We've been training internationally, partnering with multi-national organizations and local re-sellers who service small...
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Mining for Solutions: How to Empower Your Employees to be Problem-solvers

Do you consider advice-giving to be part of your role as a business leader? Even better, do you enjoy giving advice, solving problems, and suggesting best courses of action? What if a guide wasn't necessarily someone that tells you what's the best route forward to reach your end goal, but instead helped you illuminate your path so that you—the empl...
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Fierce Goals, Fierce Purpose: Tapping into the Soul of Your Organization

In my role here at Fierce as EVP of Sales & Marketing, one area I've recently been placing a lot of thought and strategic focus on is purpose . One reason for my focus in this area, aside from it being a subject that's very near and dear to me, is that our company goals are quite ambitious this year. Among all of the drive, change, growth, coll...
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What Every Young Professional Should Have: Embracing a Growth Mindset with Fierce Conversations

This past week, I had the opportunity to attend the Fierce Conversations workshop here at the Fierce Seattle headquarters. As a member of Generation Z graduating from college soon and beginning my professional career, I was a little nervous about how I would be able to relate to a room full of seasoned leaders representing a variety of industries. ...
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Learning How to Learn: Strategies for More Durable Learning

Whether you want to reinforce Fierce training, learn to play the violin, or memorize a work manual, how you approach learning can make all the difference in how well you know the material, and how long you're able to remember it. If we're going to spend our time learning, it helps if we know how to do it the right way. The right way meaning how you...
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Today’s Mokita: Incivility in the Workplace

You may have heard the word "incivility," which the Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines as a "quality of state of being uncivil." A more familiar phrase would be rude behavior , used to describe words and actions that can lower employee engagement and harm the health of your workplace culture. What are the harmful behaviors that are going on in your...
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Leaders, Here’s What a Healthy Workplace Culture Is (and Isn’t)

A keg in the breakroom, fish tanks in the walls, happy hours, ping pong, cornhole, bean bag chairs…sounds like a fun work environment, right? I don't think anyone would complain about these types of perks. And I get why companies often incorporate them. They can be reflective of the company's culture and values, and incentives like happy hour can g...
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Leading Business Problem #6: Low Productivity

Low productivity is last but not least on our list of the leading business problems we address in our latest eBook . Each year, companies lose approximately $37 billion due to unproductive meetings. This impacts not only individual businesses but also the global economy. Time and money is being lost when it doesn't have to be. This problem is real,...
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Keynote FAQs: The Value of Booking a Fierce Speaker for Your Next Event

At Fierce, we often receive questions from companies about our keynote speakers and the value they can bring to conferences, annual retreats, team outings, lunch and learns, professional development opportunities and other events, serving both individuals and businesses. I'd like to dive into some of our most frequently asked questions surrounding ...
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Leading Business Problem #5: Too Much Stress

In our latest eBook, we call out one of the leading business problems businesses face today: too much stress. According to Harris Interactive , 83% of Americans are stressed to some degree at work. The American Institute of Stress reports 40% of workers feel their job is very or extremely stressful. A small amount of "positive stress" can boost pro...
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Building Client Relationships: Why External Conversations Are Critical to Success

Fierce Conversations training is often sought out to shift organizational cultures and improve internal relationships, including the relationships between team leaders and their teams, between colleagues, and between departments. However, the skills learned in Fierce training can also be applied directly to the conversations happening daily between...
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Leading Business Problem #4: No Purpose

In our latest eBook, we call out no purpose as a leading problem in business. The reality is that nearly every organization is inherently purposeful. The intention of the company, or the reason why it exists, is its purpose. But internal communication around this "reason for being," why it matters, and how it can be made an integral part of daily o...
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C-Suite: The Secret to Employee Engagement

​ Here's a recent statistic from the Edelman Trust Barometer that blew me away and should serve as a wakeup call to organizations everywhere. 63% of employees don't trust their CEOs, claiming their company leaders are somewhat or not at all credible. That's huge, especially when combined with what HBR reported about C-suite's self-awareness skills:...
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Leading Business Problem #3: Lack of Transparency

At Fierce, we often talk about the impact that withholding truths can have on an organization and the people within it. In our latest eBook , we call out lack of transparency as the third leading business problem businesses are facing today. Our founder and CEO Susan Scott spoke at a TedXOverlake event. In her talk titled "The Case for Radical Tran...
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Social Change and Employee Empowerment: Why Leaders Need to Embrace the Times

Our recent Fierce survey revealed that conversations around current social movements, including #blacklivesmatter, #metoo, and #TimesUp, are happening. Unfortunately, most of these conversations are not happening at work. The survey also revealed that while employees still experience and witness discrimination, there has been a shift the past year ...
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Leading Business Problem #2: Top Talent Leaving

​ Top talent leaving is the second leading business problem we highlight in our latest eBook Fierce Insight Into 6 Leading Problems Businesses Face Today—And How to Solve Them . Turnover and retention rates vary by industry, and from one organization to the next. While we can't make sweeping statements about what your ideal rates should be, it's sa...
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Part Two: How to "Fix" Accountability on Your Team

I want to go back to our original quote included in Part 1 of the Accountability blogs: " Our careers, our companies, our personal relationships, our very lives, succeed or fail, gradually then suddenly, one conversation at a time." If you'll notice, it says succeeds one conversation at a time. So just as we found that accountability can disappear ...
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Leading Business Problem #1: Losing Time and Money

In our latest eBook , we offer Fierce insight into six leading business problems companies are facing today, the impact of these problems, how you can identify them, and how to solve them. The first leading (and common!) business problem we highlight is a loss of time and money . If a company has never experienced a sudden drop in revenue, they may...
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The State of Accountability, and Why It Fails

In this highly competitive, ever-changing business climate, accountability continues to be a critical challenge for leaders and organizations alike. As leaders, we aspire to build teams where people are invested in their own growth and development and are advancing the initiatives that are critical to organizational success. And yet, finger-pointin...
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From #BlackLivesMatter to #TimesUp: New Fierce Survey Reveals Conversations on Current Issues Are Missing in the Workplace

Over the past year, a number of social and political movements intended to address inequality, including #metoo, #timesup, and #blacklivesmatter, have surfaced as a response to discrimination both inside and outside the workplace. We wanted to know the potential impact of these recent political and social movements have had and are continuing to ha...
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How to Bring Everyone Together During Company Restructuring

In the world of enterprise, restructuring is the new norm. Organizations today are experiencing so many ebbs and flows, from accelerated growth and acquisitions to selling off parts of the company to create new, smaller companies. A "restructure" can impact all levels of the business, for better or worse. Whether it's creating larger or smaller tea...
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Hiring and Firing: When Work and Social Media Don’t Mix

I'm sure you've heard some of the crazy stories about employees being fired for what they posted on social. Take for instance…. The Taco Bell employee who was fired for posting a picture of himself on social licking a stack of taco shells at work. The day care attendant who was let go when she posted, "I start my new job today. But I absolutel...
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Why a Self-Driven Approach Matters for Employee Development, and How to Integrate it

There's no question whether organizations should prioritize professional development, especially if they want to retain talent. But not all organizations are having the types of growth conversations that put employees in the driver's seat and set them up for success. According to Gallup , 87% of millennials and 69% of non-millennials rate "pro...
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When Fast Business Growth Creates New Challenges for Leadership

While growth and change are exciting for a small or medium-sized business, rapid expansion is usually accompanied by potentially problematic challenges, both for the organization's culture and its leaders. If your small company grows by, say, 120% (the average first-year growth for startups according to Equidam ) and your current number of employee...
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Demystifying Measurement & Leadership Training ROI

A common misconception about ROI is that it needs to be framed in a dollar amount. This may be the case with specific types of investments, but when it comes to behavioral training, what you're measuring can vary. If, for example, you know that your employees are experiencing some degree of disengagement, this could potentially be impacting your mo...
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Getting Started with Fierce: What to Expect When You're Ready to Produce Results in Your Organization

Are you curious about our programs but not ready to pick up the phone yet? This blog post is a little different from what we typically publish, but I wanted to take the opportunity to be transparent about our process and provide you with an idea of what to expect as a potential client. If you've never worked with Fierce, you may be wondering what t...
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Is Technology Helpful or Harmful to the Personal Learning Experience?

As technology continues to advance, people are asking questions about whether it benefits or takes away from how we as humans learn best. Right now, the impact of virtual options when it comes to learning and training is not 100% clear, and the verdict is still out. The number of variables is a big reason for this—what's being learned, how it's bei...
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Mergers and Acquisitions: Why Provoke Learning Around This Topic?

With stock prices higher than ever and interest rates still low, the past two years have been ideal environments for companies to invest their growing cash reserves to purchase another company. After surveying 1000 CEO and venture capitalist investors, Deloitte's annual Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) Report predicts 2018 is another year of cont...
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A Fierce Farewell from Chris Douglas, EVP of International Expansion and Learning

Dear readers, My time here at Fierce is officially coming to an end. Not in heart, but in presence. Although I'm technically retiring, I'm not a big fan of the word "retirement." I prefer the Spanish word jubilación —it suggests jubilation and joy rather than a "stop" or "end." Although one chapter is closing, I'm about to embark on a new and excit...
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Sustainability Made Easier: How to Reinforce Training and Overcome Roadblocks

​ In my experience with current and prospective Fierce clients, one of the greatest training-related concerns that surfaces is around sustainability. More specifically, how do we successfully implement reinforcement tools in our organization to maintain behavioral shifts? Sustainability seems to be an anomaly for many and it's often mistaken as com...
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What’s Missing from Your “Whole-Person” Approach to Leadership Development

The "whole-person" approach is a holistic way of looking at development and training—it takes into account the individual's vision for themselves in all areas of life and provides the supportive resources they need to help make that vision a reality. The intended result is self-actualization. This approach is often employed as a talent st...
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Transform Your Culture of "Nice" into One of Results

Most of us were raised to "be nice" to others, and understandably so. Who doesn't want to be considered nice? It definitely pays to show kindness, and we all like to be treated with kindness in return. But is it possible to be too nice? Have you noticed yourself or other people in your organization avoiding a real issue? Either pretending it doesn'...
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